Law firm brings in an outsider

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A new outside chairman signals new momentum at large Queenstown law firm Mactodd. 

Newly-appointed non-executive chairman Ray Polson will conduct his first meeting of the four-
person board next Monday. 

“Ray was on the top of the list [of potential chairmen] and we’re delighted,” Mactodd partner and board member Richard Cunliffe says. 

Polson is the recently-retired partner and chair of Polson Higgs, a leading South Island accounting and business advisory firm. 

The other two Mactodd board members are law firm partners Jayne Macdonald and Clark Pirie. 

Polson’s appointment follows a review of Mactodd’s “operating model…to position ourselves for the future”, Cunliffe says. 

A business development manager will also be recruited shortly. 

“Clients are changing their modus operandi of engaging legal services,” Cunliffe says. 

Mactodd is “looking to see what work we can generate, in particular outside of Queenstown –we’re also looking at how we might be more efficient and do things better”, he adds. 

Legal firms can get somewhat “stuck in a rut”, Cunliffe says – “we have to be innovative.” 

The new board is “like a governance board”, he explains, stressing established Mactodd lawyers Graeme Todd, Dale Lloyd, Bryce Jack and John Troon remain partners even though they’re not on the board itself.